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Will ‘The Gates Of Hell’ In Turkmenistan Ever Be Extinguished?

The Gates of Hell
Pictures: Atlas Obscura, PNGEgg

Although the name of this gigantic hole is terrifying, it’s one of the most famous tourist sites in Turkmenistan. Who would want to visit ‘The Gates of Hell’? Just mentioning the crater’s name send chills down our spines. We can’t imagine how horrifying yet fascinating to see a fragment of hell on earth.

How did this hole exist? If you’re sceptical, sorry to break it for you, but this crater isn’t a natural phenomenon. Yes, it’s made by humans.

The Gates of Hell

Picture: BBC

The story behind The Gates of Hell

It all began in 1971. A Soviet drilling rig accidentally punctured into an underground natural gas cavern. Unexpectedly, the ground collapsed, causing the drilling rig to fall into the forming hole. Since it’s a natural gas cavern, poisonous gas started leaking profusely.

Weirdly, the Soviets lit the crater on fire! They thought it would stop burning in a few weeks. You guessed it right— it didn’t. Honestly, we don’t understand what was going on in their heads to come up with that decision.

Even after years since the questioning accident, the fiery pit is still going strong!

The Gates of Hell

Picture: Atlas Obscura

What will happen to the burning pit?

Can you believe this? Darvasa crater pit has been burning for more than 50 years. Despite the country’s countless attempts to put out the fire, it was unsuccessful. The president, Gurbanguly Berdymkhamedov, wished to stop it. He urged officials and related authorities to find a solution to extinguish the fire.

Why is the president so adamant about putting out the fire? According to Berdymukhamedov, The Gates of Hell is one of the reasons for the country’s profit loss. The neverending burning has extracted valuable natural resources. Additionally, it’s also affecting people’s well-being.

An explorer, George Kourounis, said it was pretty impossible to extinguish the ancient fiery crater.

He said, “As I was digging into the ground [at the bottom of the crater] to gather these soil samples, the fire would start coming out of the hole I just freshly dug because it was creating new paths for the gas to come out of the crater.”

The Gates of Hell

Picture: Daily Mail

Thus, even if there are attempts to extinguish the fire, the natural gas will still flare up and spark fire again.

Sources: TikTok @spacedollah, Atlas Obscura, Smithsonian Magazine

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